New Bedford Mayor proposes $1.3 million for police equipment, fire facilities, street sweeper

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“Mayor Jon Mitchell has proposed more than $1.3 million to purchase new equipment for the Police Department and upgrade Fire Department facilities. The funds come from the Fiscal Year 2022 Free Cash certification, a state-certified use of a municipality’s remaining funds from operations of the previous fiscal year.

New Bedford’s Fiscal Year 2022 Free Cash totals more than $12.8 million and has been certified by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. The majority of that total will be placed in the City’s financial reserves, according to policies adopted by the City a few years ago.

The allocation requires City Council approval. In a package submitted to the Council, Mayor Mitchell allocates $400,000 to replace Police Department tablets, including all installation and training costs, along with $375,000 to purchase six front-line patrol vehicles.

Mayor Mitchell would commit $495,000 to complete work at Fire Station #2 on Pleasant Street. An additional $85,000 would be used to implement electrical upgrades at Fire Station #5 on Acushnet Avenue.

Additional allocations would include more than $9.3 million to replenish the City’s rainy-day fund, nearly $1.3 million for the reserve fund for retiree healthcare, $300,000 for a new street sweeper, and $100,000 for a comprehensive review of the City’s emergency plans.

“Our consistent commitment to maintaining our financial reserves has enabled the City to maintain its strong bond rating,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “The additional investments in public safety equipment and facilities will help our police officers and firefighters to do their jobs more effectively.”

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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